West Marin, California, residents have been plagued by a series of coyote attacks in the area’s stretch of Highway 1

By Alex Heigl
Updated February 04, 2016 08:07 PM
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West Marin, California, residents have been plagued by a series of coyote attacks in the area’s stretch of Highway 1.

Enough people have reported the animals’ behavior that a pattern has emerged: The animals “run up to cars, usually at night, forcing drivers to stop as the beast stares and sniffs around the vehicle,” according to PacificSun.com.

The Marin Humane Society’s Lisa Bloch has ruled out rabies as a source of the coyote’s behavior, given that the attacks have been reported for the past two weeks, and an animal behaving this aggressively as a result of rabies would have succumbed to the disease by now.

Probably the oddest theory that’s been floated is that the coyotes have consumed one of the area’s amanita mushrooms and are consequently under the effects of some kind of psychedelic trip. Bloch said she has in fact warning dog owners lately of the dangers that the local mushrooms can pose for pets.

But even after floating that entertaining theory, Pacific Sun’s Tom Gogola concedes that the most probable reason for the coyote attacks is that the animals have been fed by humans at some point and are consequently bolder around them than they should be. “One possibility is that the coyote has been fed, and this is a real problem for us in Marin,” Bloch added. “It’s possible that someone was feeding him and thinking that it’s cool, and magical and mystical to have a coyote eating out of his hand.”

Coyotes were eliminated in Marin for decades because of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that targeted the animal because of its negative effects on California’s cattle population.